An Assessment of Readiness for Supporting Digital Humanities in Hong Kong Academic Libraries: Evaluating the Potential for Program Development and International Collaborations

An Assessment of Readiness for Supporting Digital Humanities in Hong Kong Academic Libraries: Evaluating the Potential for Program Development and International Collaborations

Rebekah Shun Han Wong (Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong) and Haipeng Li (Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8444-7.ch008
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Abstract

This book chapter will assess the state of digital humanities across Hong Kong academic libraries and evaluate the potential for international collaborations. A survey was administered to the eight member institutions of the University Grants Committee in Hong Kong to examine the level of engagement in digital humanities, support structure at their institutions, partnership opportunities, etc. Survey respondents indicated the importance of supporting digital humanities, but this importance has not been fully reflected on the institutional level. Hong Kong libraries have undertaken a range of activities to support digital humanities, and they embrace intra-institutional partnerships. Surveyed institutions also indicated that the potential for international collaborations, in particular, exists and is worth the efforts of further exploration. Their major challenges are building a strong faculty-librarian partnership, getting adequate financial and personnel resources, and enhancing staff experience and skills in this area.
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Introduction

As humanities scholars are paying more and more attention to the utilization of technologies in their research, the field of digital humanities has started to build up momentum as an emerging area of research. As a result, librarians have also been discussing the role of academic libraries in supporting digital humanities, addressing questions such as what approaches to take and how to provide the support. Recent surveys conducted by various organizations in the United States indicate growing activity in the digital humanities across small colleges and large universities, with increasing collaboration between scholars and libraries. Such collaboration may also involve international partnerships, particularly in Europe and East Asia. These trends provide a timely opportunity for academic libraries across all continents to assess their potential for developing further collaboration.

This chapter will examine past and current digital humanities efforts led by academic libraries in Hong Kong to assess the state of digital humanities across Hong Kong universities. A survey was administered specifically to member institutions of the University Grants Committee (UGC) in Hong Kong in order to examine the level of engagement in digital humanities, support structure at their institutions, and partnership opportunities between libraries and scholars. The findings of this environmental scan will be used to evaluate the potential for a digital humanities collaboration program model for Hong Kong and, by extension, Chinese and Taiwanese universities, identifying cultural implications and the impact on digital humanities in the region.

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